Monday, August 21, 2006

Moments in flow

A very wonderful book on meditation, one that has become a classic, is Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook by Ram Dass. Here's his very lovely description of what pure awareness is like:
There have been moments in your life when you were pure awareness. No concepts, no thoughts like "I am aware" or "That is a tree" or "Now I am meditating." Just pure awareness. Openness. A spacious quality in your existence. Perhaps it happened as you sat on a river bank and the sound of the river flowed through you. Or as you walked on the beach when, the sound of the ocean washed away your thinking mind until all that remained was the walking, the feeling of your feet on the sand, the sound of the surf, the warmth of the sun on your head and shoulders, the breeze on your check, the sound of the seagull in the distance.

For that moment your image of yourself was lost in the gestalt, in the totality of the moment. You were not clinging to anything. You were not holding on to the experience. It was flowing--through you, around you, by you, in you. At that moment you were the experience. You were the flow. There was no demarcation between you-sun-ocean-sand. You had transcended the separation that thought creates. You were the moment in all its fullness.

Everyone has had such experiences. These moments are ones in which we have "lost ourselves," or been "taken out of ourselves," or "forgotten ourselves." They are moments in flow.

It is in these moments of your life that there is no longer separation. There is peace, harmony, tranquility, the joy of being part of the process. In these moments the universe appears fresh; it is seen through innocent eyes. It all begins anew.
Meditation helps us dispose ourselves to moments like this - so that they aren't relegated to just happening by chance. We can't force this experience but we can train ourselves to let go of the usual obstacles to it. Let yourself remember when this has happened to you. Then commit yourself to being open to it now and to train your mind to dispose yourself toward this awareness as a regular practice.

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